The way local and world events are going at the moment, there is a growing desire to engage. To talk to one another! And this is good. In these turbulent times, we need to be talking to each other. But we won’t get far in our conversations if we lack the skills to converse well. And right now, a lot of the most visible conversations out there are pretty awful.
Leaving aside exchanges that involve threats, insults, and name-calling, do you ever overhear conversations that sound something like this?
Atheist: Religion is nonsense. It substitutes fantasy for science.
Muslim: Wait, I am religious, and I believe in science! Not all religion is equal.
Atheist: Yeah, there are different religions. But they all involve made-up stories! If you want to live in the truth, you have to get rid of religion.
Muslim: How do you know truth if you don’t know God? My religion, Islam, specifically instructs humans to use science to better understand the truth. My religion has produced some of the greatest scientists!
Atheist: Then why do Muslims and other religious people deny objective truth and believe made-up stories? And why do they do so many stupid and harmful things?
Muslim: Just because somebody calls themself a Muslim or any other label doesn’t guarantee that they are not stupid or harmful. You have to commit to seeking God if you want to know the truth more fully. Then you will live in greater peace with society and God’s laws for our existence.